Steffan de Graffenried was born in Decatur, Alabama in 1964. He began his martial arts training shortly after seeing the first episode of Kung Fu the TV series in 1972 at the age of 8. Because there were no Kung Fu studios in the area, he opted to learn the only martial art style he could find: Judo.
At age 15 he began to study what is known now as “Old Style Taekwondo”. After earning his 2nd degree Black Belt in this art, he finally found a Kung Fu instructor — Master Jamie Hooper. While continuing his study of Korean Martial Arts and earning the rank of 4th Degree Master in Tang Soo Do, he studied Yang Family Taijiquan, Northern Shaolin, Mizongluohan, Cha Chuan, Chang Quan, Choy Li Fut Kung Fu, Bajiquan, Piguazhang, Baguazhang, Xing Yi Quan, Chen Taijiquan, Hung Gar and Northern Praying Mantis with Master Hooper.
He was also a close disciple of Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong of San Francisco, CA. He continues his lifelong Martial Arts study of Northern Shaolin, MiZong Luohan, Cha Quan, Xing Yi Quan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang, Northern Mantis, MiZong Quan, Chen Taijiquan and Baguazhang under master Jamie Hooper and is currently a disciple of Shifu Adam Mizner in the Heaven Man Earth Taiji International Association and runs an affiliate school for Shifu Mizner.